Jodie Swallow dominates Ironman Kalmar in Sweden to take first Ironman title
Ironman Kalmar returned for its second running with Britain’s Jodie Swallow and Portugal’s Pedro Gomes both taking maiden Ironman titles in Sweden.
A choppy swim in the Baltic Sea saw local pro Jonas Djurback (SWE) lead the swim early on with Jodie Swallow (GBR) getting a head start in the women’s race alongside him. Another stellar swimming performance from the Brit saw her lead the Swede from the water in 48:30.
Djurback was the first male pro onto the bike, but soon countryman Karl-Johan Danielsson (SWE) moved to the front, covered by Pedro Gomes (POR).
The pair paced hard to distance their chasers, but eventually Gomez managed to drop the Swede and eke out a lead of around one minute 20 seconds going onto the run, clocking a 4:33:42 bike split despite savage winds.
Danielsson was followed out of transition by Anton Blokhin (UKR), who was five minutes behind but soon moved up into second position on the marathon. Meanwhile, David Pleše (SLO) was running hard to wipe out a deficit of more than seven minutes.
By half way through the run, Gomez had consolidated his lead to five minutes while Pleše was up in second, demoting Blokhin to third. The Slovakian continued to chip away at his deficit but in the end, even his 2:48:40 split wasn’t enough to catch Gomes, who crossed the line in 8:19:30.
Pleše was second in 8:22:01 and Blokhin claimed third in 8:26:09.
In the women’s race, Swallow was out of the water with nearly 10 minutes’ advantage over Emma Graaf (SWE) and Britta Martin (GER – now racing for New Zealand) while Eva Nyström (SWE) was nearly 14 minutes behind.
Swallow was in a class of her own throughout the race, her 4:55:39 bike split totting her lead up to over 17 minutes by T2.
Nyström moved up into second with her 4:59:15 bike, the only other woman to break five hours.
Swallow continued to dominate on the run, increasing her lead again to sew up her first Ironman win with a strong 3:06 marathon and cross the line in 8:54:01, looking like a dangerous foe for the other women in Kona this year.
Nyström was second in 9:17:56 while Martin rounded out the podium in 9:22:18.
Top 5 Men
Gomes, Pedro (POR) 8:19:30
Pleše, David (SLO) 8:22:01
Blokhin, Anton (UKR) 8:26:09
Hast, Jarmo (FIN) 8:35:40
Bastie, Christophe (FRA) 8:37:12
Top 5 Women
Swallow, Jodie (GBR) 8:54:01
Nyström, Eva (SWE) 9:17:56
Martin, Britta (NZL) 9:22:18
Rundqvist, Louise (SWE) 9:48:39
Graaf, Emma (SWE) 10:14:13